scheduled for released by Lions Gate Films later this year.
Jeff Clanagan CEO & President, Codeblack Entertainment o Age: 46 Clanagan represents one of the pioneers who used straight-to-DVD entertainment to fill a void for African American audiences. In 2005, the 22-year entertainment veteran took the next step in fully serving black consumers: He launched Codeblack, an African American-owned company that acquires, produces, and distributes urban film content for the theatrical, television, home entertainment, Web, and mobile markets. “A lot of companies want to dabble in the urban market, but not make a business of it. Because our business is solely focused on the black consumer, we know how to service our consumer with a variety of products,” he asserts. The firm produced $12 million in gross sales last year and projects gross sales of $21 million in 2007.
After successful stints as president of Mandalay Urban Entertainment and UrbanWorks Entertainment, Clanagan started Codeblack. Using his market prowess through partnerships with industry titans, he brokered a distribution deal with Visual Entertainment, a division of Universal Music and Video. Codeblack’s releases to date have included Monster’s Ball and producer Lee Daniels’s directorial debut, Shadowboxer, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren and has sold more than 1 million DVD units. Other big releases include Steve Harvey’s Don’t Trip … He Ain’t Through With Me Yet and Preaching to the Choir, starring Patti LaBelle. This fall the company will release the award-winning film Dirty Laundry, starring Loretta Devine and Rockmond Dunbar, in movie theaters across the nation. And Codeblack will develop films targeting the Christian market as part of its production deal with FoxFaith, a division of Twentieth Century Fox. Clanagan recently announced the establishment of UrbanFilmClub.com, an online retailer of urban DVDs. — George Alexander
Preston A. Davis President, Broadcast Operations and Engineering,ABC Television Network o Age: 57 Why he’s powerful: Although he’s not a high-profile professional, Davis is one of ABC’s most valuable assets. Without him, many of the network’s shows would not air; he oversees all technical components of broadcasting for news, sports, entertainment, and special events. Having joined the network in 1976 as an engineer, Davis now manages more than 1,000 employees in one of its largest divisions. Under his direction, ABC has become a leader in new technology such as high-definition television as he directs its multiyear transition from analog to digital broadcasts.
Laurence Fishburne Actor-Director-Producero Age: 45 Why he’s powerful: With more than three decades of experience in Hollywood, this accomplished actor-producer was the driving force behind the highly-accl
aimed indie film Akeelah and the Bee, developing the film through his production company, Cinema Gypsy. His star power was the magnet that drew Canadian studio Lions Gate and 2929 Entertainment, a media company that makes low-budget movies founded by billionaires Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, to develop the film, which grossed $19 million in box office and DVD sales. With several films currently in production, including A Landlord’s Tale, 4Chosen, and The Alchemist, Fishburne continues to add to his box-office